Third DUI Offense in California

Repeat DUI Offender

DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. It also goes by DWI or OUI in different regions. No matter what it is called, DUI means the same thing. According to vehicle code section 23152, a person can be charged with driving under the influence for operating a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two.

After a DUI arrest, police officers will look at your past ten years of criminal offenses. If you have been previously arrested for DUI or a DUI related crime, you will face additional penalties. The California Vehicle Code sections for these offenses that are included are as follows:

  • 23103.5
  • 23152
  • 23153

If you have been conviction twice in the past ten years of any of these crimes and have been arrested for DUI again, there is information that you need to know. Courts treat multiple DUI offenses differently. The more prior convictions on your record, the more serious the penalties will be. Even if you are stopped for driving with a BAC barely over the legal limit, if you have 2 convictions on your record, you could face a year of jail time for it.

Third DUI Penalties in California

For a third DUI conviction in a ten year period, there will be multiple penalties. Lawmakers feel that a repeat DUI offender is likely to keep repeating the pattern of driving while intoxicated until someone gets injured or killed. In order to discourage this, consequences for repeat DUI offenses is severe. Sentencing is laid out in California vehicle code section 23546.

The first penalty you can expect is jail time. The minimum amount of jail time for a third DUI conviction is 120 days, but a judge can decide to sentence up to one year if they see fit. You will also be required to pay a fine of $390 to $1000.

If you are convicted of a third DUI in a five year period, you will also face vehicle impoundment. California law states that for a third DUI conviction in a period of five years, the offender's vehicle that was driven during the offense can be impounded for up to 90 days.

License Suspension

For many people, keeping their driver's license is top priority when facing a DUI charge. The ability to drive is very important in getting to and from work and school and caring for your family. Many cities do not offer adequate public transportation and it can be difficult to get rides from other people on a daily basis.

After 3 or more convictions in California, you will be labeled a habitual traffic offender for 3 years. When a person accrues multiple traffic violations in a short period of time, they are considered a habitual violator by the State. Habitual violators will face immediate license revocation. In order to get your license reinstated, you must complete an alcohol or drug program and pay fines as well as other criteria laid out in vehicle section code 16430.

IID Devices

If you are convicted for a third DUI, a judge can also choose to sentence you to mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. This device requires you to give a breath sample each time you start your vehicle. You may receive a provision that requires you to only drive your vehicle which is installed with one of these devices for up to three years. This will be on top of the license revocation that you will experience as a result of your habitual violator status.

Other Sentencing Factors

Adding to the litany of penalties you can face as a habitual violator, a third DUI offense can with additional penalties such as: 60 days of incarceration for excessive speeding while under the influence 48 hours of additional incarceration for driving while intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle

California DUI Defense Attorney

When police administer sobriety tests, there are a number of ways errors can be made. Field sobriety tests depend a lot on balance and many other factors other than impairment can cause you to be unable to perform the necessary actions. Chemical BAC tests can be administered or interpreted incorrectly in a number of ways as well. Our DUI lawyers will examine your case and look for ways to fight the charges. Call us right now to get started.

Our legal team has over 25 years of criminal defense experience. We understand the fear and embarrassment that people often feel after being charged with a DUI, especially when it is not their first DUI. We work to make all of our clients happy and comfortable by communicating throughout the process and explaining what you can expect from your charges. Best of all, we offer free consultations to all of our DUI clients, so call us right now.


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California Defense Attorneys

Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLP is a criminal defense law firm serving Southern California. We represent clients who have been charged with DUI and other crimes that are looking for aggressive defense lawyers who can help them fight the charges they face. For more information, contact our firm today.